As Nigeria continues to record a relative increase in the number of Diptheria cases, a medical practitioner, has urged parents to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated against the disease with three (3) doses of the pentavalent vaccine as recommended in the childhood immunisation schedule.
Dr. Sani Abdulkarim Giade of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi, who made the call, explained that Children and adults of 60 years and above, who do not have up-to-date immunizations, are at risk of infection.
According to data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC, 833 cases and 80 deaths have been confirmed in Nigeria by 25th July 2023.
Speaking further, Dr. Sani Abdulkarim Giade said the disease thrives in dirty and crowded environments and can be contacted through contact with an infected person.
While stating that symptoms will be noticeable within a week of contact, he identified soar throat, low-grade fever, and neck swelling as some of the symptoms of the disease.
Dr. Giade reiterated that diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable bacterial disease, just as he encouraged routine immunization, and cautioned against overcrowding to minimize the risk of infections.
Dr. Abdulkarim Giade advised individuals with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria to isolate and take precautionary measures while visiting the healthcare facility for diagnosis and treatment.